It was a terrifying sight as a school bus carrying 22 students on the very first day of school burst into flames. In seconds the entire bus was engulfed in a life or death situation.
The quick actions of school bus driver John Wilkins are credited with saving every child on board. He was honored by the Hernry County Board of Education outside Atlanta.
Wilkins said he became alarmed when he smelled smoke and felt a burning liquid on his feet. He pulled the bus over and evacuated the kids just before it burst into flames.
"It happened so fast, I really didn't have time to think. My biggest concern was getting the students off the bus," said Wilkins.
The students are thankful to be alive.
"I do think he's a hero. He was calm. He was like 'It's going to be ok, it's going to be all right,' " said one student.
It's the first day of school these students will never forget.